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Visante’s Top 10 Issues Facing Hospital and Health System Pharmacy 2023

We are pleased to again bring you Visante’s Top 10 issues in pharmacy for 2023.  For 2022 our Top 10 items (Pharmacy Org Structure, 340B Program, Vertical Integration & Marketplace Restrictions, Drug Prices & Supply Chain, Infusion Services, Drug Shortages, Pandemic, Economy, Election, Social Justice) all turned out to be very relevant and many of these items again made the list for 2023.

To say that 2022 was turbulent would be a significant understatement!  With the pandemic, economy, election and social justice issues driving national concerns, including pharmacy, coupled with the more pharmacy-specific elements it was an extremely challenging year for pharmacy and healthcare in general.  However, despite the magnitude of the challenges we observed pharmacy programs all over the country stepping up and meeting these challenges head-on. Pharmacy programs demonstrated innovation, creativity, commitment to purpose, and a tremendous work ethic in supporting their patients and their organizations and should be justifiably proud of their work in 2022. 

It was an honor and privilege to be able to work alongside so many great colleagues to help with the advancement of their pharmacy programs and to address the many challenges and we sincerely thank you all for the opportunity. We look forward to again supporting the advancement of high-performance pharmacy for 2023.

— Jim Jorgenson

(1) Eight Essential Skills for Today’s Top Health System Pharmacy Leader

Steve Rough, Phil Brummond & Dave Hager

In a modern health system, the minimum skills and competency areas required of a top pharmacy leader are incomplete. . . This paper outlined the following core competencies: emotional intelligence, continuous professional development, strategic planning, driving innovation, business acumen, professional organizational involvement, and mentorship. These are undoubtedly valuable in health system pharmacy leadership and in many other leadership roles across different industries. They  are unlikely to change over time and were likely true 10 years ago.

Meanwhile, the health system environment is changing rapidly. While these historic skills are essential, they may not be sufficient to fulfill the high demands placed on current pharmacy executives. For example, one area of growing importance in terms of core competencies is ensuring continuous accountability for compliance. As we work with clients, we see that this maintenance work, particularly as health systems grow, is pushed down the priority list at the risk of patients and the career of the health system pharmacy leader. Some of these  core competencies, like professional organizational involvement, are valuable within the profession, but can be detrimental  to the top pharmacy executive’s standing within their health system. As Visante works with top health system pharmacy programs across the country, we’ve identified eight essential skills that are needed to meet the ever-changing needs of the health system pharmacy enterprise.

Mastery of healthcare finance complexities. While the HVPE describes general business acumen as an area of core competency, it references budgeting, reporting, business plan development, revenue cycle, project management, and strategic planning. Top health system pharmacy executives need to have a depth of knowledge far surpassing the level  obtained in an MBA program. Instead, they need to understand where the money flows throughout the system – which entity is profiting at each step in the medication use process and what levers are available to favorably shift value back to the health system.

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